The Health & Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN) has threatened that it would challenge the controversial reinstatement of the previously suspended executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, Vanguard reports.
HMCAN is the umbrella body for Health Maintenance Organisations, (HMOs) in Nigeria, and its position was made public by its chairman, Dr Tunde Ladele, at a press briefing on Friday, February 9.
It was gathered that Ladele stated that the initial appointment of Yusuf as the NHIS boss had led to distortions in the agency’s operation, and that it had previously gone to court over the issue.
He stated: “We will contest the recall in court. There is a case already on. The reason we went to court was the distortion of the process and then the libelous statements and the manner of appointment.”
Addressing Yusuf’s recent reinstatement, he continued:
“News of the lifting of the suspension of Dr Usman Yusuf as the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme reached the association by way of the social media and print and electronic news organisations on Tuesday, 6th February, 2018.
“Yusuf was suspended in July 2017 by the minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole for three months to allow for an administrative, investigative committee to look into the various allegations, including those of monumental fraud, gross abuse of office and nepotism inimical to the NHIS.
“Subsequently, the minister of health extended the suspension of the executive secretary indefinitely.
“It was reported that the ministerial committee set up by the minister of health had found that the sum of N919 million had been dubiously given to consultants for staff training, and recommended that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) probe the agency for diversion of funds and contravention of the Procurement Act.
“HMCAN notes the assurances of government that investigations of allegations are ongoing. Whilst noting the gravity of the allegations, HMCAN is mindful of the dictum that an accused person is innocent till proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“We advise that in the spirit of transparency, accountability and the stance of government on anti-corruption, the report and investigation should not be swept under the carpet. Doing this will erode public confidence and cast doubt on the sincerity of government.
“In the last year during his tenure, there have been disruptions; and nothing has been done in terms of adding more lives to the scheme. However, since he was suspended, we have gradually normalised activities.
“In his absence the providers have been taken care of and everything had been going seamlessly.
“We believe in the Nigerian project and we on our part will continue to invest our best efforts in ensuring the highest quality of care at the most equitable cost for millions of our enrollees nationwide. Ultimately this is the mandate of our members and indeed of the NHIS.”